India Has Sent over 229 Lakh Coronavirus Vaccine Doses to Various Countries: MEA

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India provided over 229 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccines to various countries out of which 64 lakh doses have been supplied as grant assistance and 165 lakh on commercial basis, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Friday. MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said India will continue to take forward the global vaccine supply initiative and cover more countries in a phased manner.

"As of date, we have supplied a total of 229.7 lakh doses to the global community. Of these, 64.7 lakh doses have been supplied as grant while 165 lakh doses have been supplied on a commercial basis," he said at a media briefing. Srivastava said consignments of coronavirus vaccine doses were supplies as gifts to Bangladesh (20 lakh), Myanmar (17 lakh), Nepal (10 lakh), Bhutan (1.5 lakh), the Maldives (1 lakh), Mauritius (1 lakh), Seychelles (50,000), Sri Lanka (5 lakh), Bahrain (1 lakh), Oman (1 lakh), Afghanistan (5 Lakhs), Barbados (1 Lakh) and Dominica (70,000).

He said countries which received vaccines on commercial basis are Brazil (20 lakh), Morocco (60 lakh), Bangladesh (50 lakh), Myanmar (20 lakh), Egypt (50,000), Algeria (50,000), South Africa (10 lakh), Kuwait (2 lakh) and UAE (2 lakh). In the coming weeks, vaccines will be supplied to more countries in Africa, Latin America, CARICOM and the Pacific Island states, he said.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is a grouping of 20 island nations which are home to approximately 16 million people. "Decisions on these supplies will, of course, be calibrated as per domestic production and the requirements of the national vaccination programme," Srivastava said.

He did not give a direct reply to a question on whether India is sending the vaccine doses to Canada. In a major announcement, India on January 19 said it will send COVID-19 vaccines under grant assistance to several countries. India is one of the world's biggest drugmakers, and an increasing number of countries have already approached it for procuring anti-coronavirus vaccines.

Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey, meanwhile, informed the Lok Sabha that over 167 lakh doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been supplied to 20 countries till February 9, and asserted that external supplies of the vaccine are being undertaken with due regard to domestic production and adequate availability for the national vaccination programme. "Supplies have been made of 167.7 lakh doses to 20 countries until 9 February 2021. This includes gift of 62.7 lakh doses to 13 countries and commercial procurement of 105 lakh doses by eight countries," Choubey said in a written reply .

India is a member of COVAX facility (created by Gavi Global Alliance for Vaccines & Immunization, CEPI Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and WHO World Health Organisation) and is both a recipient of vaccines from the facility as well as a supplier of vaccines. In addition to COVAX facility, external supplies have been made bilaterally through gifts by the Government of India and commercial sales by the manufacturers.

On whether the supply of vaccines to other countries will have any adverse effect on controlling the disease in the country, Choubey said, "External supplies are being undertaken with due regard to domestic production and adequate availability for the national vaccination programme." .